Máriagyűd, it is a meeting place for God and man
Máriagyűd is a meeting place: it is a meeting place for God and man. Máriagyűd is suitable for us to quiesce and listen to God. Let us dare to open the door to God because He wants to be present in our life by his wonderful plan, this is the century-old message of Máriagyűd. Máriagyűd is the spiritual centre of the diocese of Pécs. It is the spot of indulgence and retreats.
The brief history of Máriagyűd:
Its history goes back to the Roman era. The conquerors of the homeland take over the esteem of the Blessed Virgin. In 1006 a chapel is built by the Benedictines of Pécsvárad. In the 11th century King Géza the Second enlarged the chapel.
The church survived the time of Turkish occupation. Serbs then the adherents of the reformed church use the church for divine services. The contemporary statue of the Blessed Virgin was lost. When the Turkish left Hungary, the Blessed Virgin appeared to two inhabitants of Siklós, Ispán Mátyás and Kopics János that were returning home from work on the hill. The Blessed Virgin asked that the church should belong to the Roman Catholic Church again. In 1687, Vechi Gábor the lord of Szigetvár gave the church to the Roman Catholics upon the command of the Habsburg emperor, Leopold. In the 18th century there were wonderful appearances again.
The current statue of the Blessed Virgin was donated by Nesselrode Ferenc, the bishop of Pécs in 1713.
Between 1739 and 1742, the church was enlarged and the monastery was built of the donations of the adherents and the grant of the Batthyány family.
In the 1700’s 302 wonderful healings were recorded into the almanac of the cloister.
In 1805, the Pope, Pius the Seventh enunciated Máriagyűd to be a place of worship officially. If the visitor starts from the church to the right, they will find an open-air altar there. This is the spot of the common services, pilgrimages in summer. The Way of the Cross goes upward from here. The chapel of the Saint Tomb is a monument, its stations were manufactured by the Zsolnay Factory of Pécs of glazed ceramics. A row of shady horse chestnut trees leads to the resting-place of the “Great Woman of Hungarians” (Patrona Hungariae, the Blessed Virgin). The statue of the Mater Dolorosa (our Lady of Sorrows) stands a bit lower. It was erected in 1860. Peace and calm surround it. It is a place suitable for prayer and contemplation.
On the right, a bit higher, the Jubilee Crucifix is elevated in the middle of the hill-slope. The Corpus is the work of Kiss György, sculptor. It is called the Little Honey Jesus because wild bees nest in it and in the summer heat, honey is dripping on the toes of the corpus. It was erected in 1900, on the occasion of the turn of the century and for commemorating the 900th anniversary of the Hungarians’ conversion to Christianity.
This is the end of the road. Going back, the road on the right of the Blessed Virgin’s statue, goes back to the church of Máriagyűd. This walk takes 40 minutes on a light terrain. The renovation of the church was completed in 1996. On the 14th September 2008, the Pope Benedict conferred the title of Basilica Minor to the church. A tourist way starts on the left of the Blessed Virgin of Máriagyűd. It is connected to the Harkány –Siklós- Máriagyűd cycle track, the length of which is 8 km.